November 25, 2014
The Web site POLITICO reported on November 12, 2014 that the Obama administration is set to roll out a series of climate and air pollution measures that rivals any president’s environmental actions of the past quarter-century.
Tied to court-ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate talks, the efforts scheduled for the next two months show that President Barack Obama is prepared to spend the remainder of his term unleashing sweeping executive actions to combat global warming. And incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have few options for stopping the new measures, though Republicans may be able to slow pieces of it. The coming rollout includes:
- A December 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time.
- A final rule December 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants’ toxic coal ash.
- The January 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors (CSAPR).
- A January 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.
The pending EPA actions could amount to the most ambitious burst of environmental regulatory activity from Washington since President George H.W. Bush approved a crucial set of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 — although Obama’s administration has already taken several big strides of its own, including limits on mercury pollution from power plants.
The administration was committed to its upcoming deadlines many months ago, in some cases under court order, after postponing a number of the actions until after the 2012 or 2014 elections. Now that Obama is almost out of time, they’re coming all at once.
On deck are even more climate actions that will stretch well into 2015. In June, EPA is due to put out a final version of its rule for cutting greenhouse gases from the nation’s existing power plants — the linchpin of Obama’s entire climate effort.
What this means to you
Court ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate agreements mean two years of air quality policy measures are likely from the Obama administration. Due to the legal system many proposals and programs will be difficult to stop.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn more about cost effective emission compliance strategies for your operation